Tagged: self

Stories | Exploring Magic Marketplace

Fish and Cars
I drove hundreds of miles passing farmland, windmills and Joshua trees to be part of the press for Magic Marketplace held in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. It was a writer’s dream. No, it was this blogger’s dream. And it exceeded every ounce of my imagination. These are my stories:

Fish and Cars
From almost a block away, the term “confidence comes from within” captured my attention. I stepped toward the poster; introduced myself and told the company about my blog.  According to yummie by Heather Thomson, confidence is “about more than knowing you look your best, it’s about feeling that way too. You need to feel free to move, to breathe, to run to your next activity, to get their attention at work, or to dance the night away.” I completely agree.

Fish and Cars
Pink roses are always soft and pretty, just like these dresses from La Mouette. The company designs beautiful dresses for sizes 12 – 28. I love the smooth and soft jersey materials combined with the simple yet sophisticated cut. And I am proud that this company creates dresses as pretty as the pink roses for plus sized women.

Fish and Cars
This summer, I learned a lot about Minecraft, Gary’s Mod and Roblox from my nephew, whom spent one month with me.  I am still amazed by the wonderful creations of our children – the cities they built, the world they created, when given the pixels to do so.  When I found Jinx, I thought my nephew would love this company. Not only did he love this photograph, he wanted to know where he could find this Minecraft cardboard Enderman head.

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I woke up early every day to Magic Marketplace, excited. After interviewing a few merchants and absorbing the design of a number of brands and after my pair of Jimmy Choo wedge sandal has cut into the skin of my feet on the second day, I stopped at Saxx Underwear for resting. The folks at Saxx were hospitable – They charged my out-of-battery iPhone; told me the story behind the invention; even gave me a sample of the underwear. I felt at home.

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“I like your dress,” Sarah, the designer of Paradigm Shift Jewelry said to me.  “Anthropologie,” I said. “I ended up wearing different things every day.” Like Michael and Sarah, pictured above, the question (after confirmation that you are attending Magic Marketplace) was: What should I wear? I brought five (5) pairs of comfortable shoes, a few dresses, two (2) pairs of jeans and a blazer. We laughed as we all agreed that we ended up dressing like ourselves, what made us happy, what made us feel good. That’s what matters, after all. ❤

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Folks were joking with me at the Art Skool Clothing booth, and there, I discovered that Anna got talents! She offered to cut a T-shirt for me. I was beyond thrilled. It was an act of kindness, a creation of wearable art, which I will cherish forever. Thank you!  ❤

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After cruising through jewelry and apparel, I stumbled upon Chase & Chloe branded shoes and met Grace Lim, its designer. I collected a few that I would wear with skinny jeans and romantic tops; spring dresses and pink cardigans; and cut-off jeans and v-neck tees. I love the beautiful colors, the cut outs, the contours. I was in heaven.

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It was 5:30p.m. on the last day of Magic Marketplace, and I was still strolling the shoes section as the merchants packed up to return home.  Amazonas Sandals eagerly introduced its shoes to me, allowing me to feel and bend its sandals. As I touched its sole, I imagined walking in the forest of South Africa, wearing a pair of green Columbia shorts and soft BCBG t-shirt, listening to lions roar in this pair of orange sandals. And I am truly grateful as this is the first pair of shoes given to me as a blogger. I feel “official” – a badge of honor. Thank you! ❤

Fish and Cars
Lorena Saravia was the first booth I visited at Magic Marketplace. It was where my stories begin. It was where I found beautiful red dresses with the finest cut. It was where two beautiful women smiled at me, giving me permission to step into their world, imagine myself in their creations and step out to find many talented designers just like them, each unique, each beautiful, each different. Thank you, Magic Marketplace, for giving me this opportunity – with all of my heart. ❤

Let your outer and inner beauty shine! everyday.

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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Travel | In Love with San Juan

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(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

This floral dress from In Love with Fashion is perfect contrast to Fort San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The aged stone, the imperfection of beige and the stain from the rain all appeal to me.

Fish and Cars
(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

There is something inherently romantic about Renaissance arches, peeled layers and benches.

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I could imagine a couple simply holding hands here.

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The view from Castillo San Felipe del Morro is gorgeous.  I love the yellow mixed in with the blue combined with the natural blue of the sky and the green of grass and trees.

Fish and Cars
(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

The fort is so beautiful that I could not imagine that war is fought here.

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I could read an entire book in one of these small domes right by the blue of the ocean and sky.

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

Build Beauty on a Strong Foundation

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(Trench Coat – Burberry, Watch – Michele, Black Skirt – Theory, Basic T-Shirt – American Vintage, Denim –  7 For All Mankind, White Dress Shirt – Vero Moda, Khaki Pants – Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Pearl Necklace – Brooks Brothers, Pearl Studs – Astley Clarke, Little Black Dress – Nicole Miller, Black Blazer – Theory, Black Trousers – Theory)

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” George Bernard Shaw.

Outer Beauty

A strong foundation begins with classic pieces that serve as building blocks for your personal style. They are essential and timeless pieces in your wardrobe; therefore, invest in them. Purchase quality and they will last for years to come. And you will shine!

You will look sharp in a black suit. Ensure that the black blazer has at least two buttons. I love black blazers that emphasize my waist as it gives definition to my body. Also, I prefer my black pants to be slim or straight legged. If you are petite, a pair of black pants looks best without pleats, which tends to swallow you. In anticipation for meetings or interviews where a skirt would be more respectful to be worn than a pair of pants, I usually purchase a matching skirt. And I love suits in quality materials – It immediately transforms a person!

A white dress shirt is also an essential classic. You could wear it with your black suit or you could wear it casually with a pair of jeans or shorts. I love shirts with a little stretch in it as they are more form fitting, feel better on the skin and easier to iron. And I cannot live without t-shirts, because they are versatile. Personally, I prefer V-necks and t-shirts made of thin, stretchy and comfortable material.

In addition to a pair of good fitting jeans and khaki pants, a strong foundation would be lacking without a black dress. You could wear your little black dress to any event. To dress up the black dress, I usually wear a strand of pearls with a pair of pearl studs – and a trench coat.  You will look classy.  To dress down the black dress, I may use a colored belt or wear a pair of fashionable sneakers.

Be creative with your classic pieces and shine!

Inner Beauty

“Integrity” stems from the Latin word “integer” which means “whole” or “complete.” In other words, if you have integrity, you are whole, sound and complete in your inner world because you are honest and congruent. I strongly believe that a person who has integrity has a strong foundation to being beautiful within.

1. Be branded. Have (and adjust from time to time) a set of moral values and principles that you will live by. Think of what values you stand for, what you want to be known as, what characteristics you want to work toward. Brand yourself. Your own set of values and principles will provide you with self-confidence, help you set boundaries and attract people with similar values to you.

Here are some of my own personal moral values and principles: I am responsible for my own education. I work very hard to further the best interest of the company I work for and do not take any short cuts. I am open, honest and loyal to the man I am with and do not cheat. I do not steal any of my girlfriends’ interest(s). I only keep friends I could trust (I use a 3 strikes policy for people who lie). I will not leave when my nephew fails to do an activity – only after he accomplishes it (to teach him not to quit and to build positive associations). I strive to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

2. Be honest. Besides telling the truth to others, I believe it is important to be honest with yourself, to be personally accountable. Without honesty, I find that it is very challenging to grow because it is easier to lie to ourselves or point the finger at someone else.  For example, if you obtained a C on a calculus examination instead of your goal of an A, be honest about the mistakes you have made and the efforts you could have put into studying instead of blaming the test (It’s unfair!), the teacher (She sucks!), the school (If only I go to Harvard!) or the system (Discrimination!).

If your attitude is one that stems from the fact that you have the internal locus of control – you will thrive! For instance, if you say to yourself “I am responsible for earning a C because I incorrectly applied the fundamental theorem of calculus” and learn the correct application of the fundamental theorem of calculus thereafter, then you will earn an A.

The truth will make you whole – and you will become a better person!

3. Be congruent. To obtain and maintain consistency in your character, act accordingly to your own values and principles. Be congruent in your thoughts, words and actions. When I was in Tahiti last year, I was reading Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” on having integrity and being consistent with the people who look up to you (in other words, watch out for hypocrisy!). When you find an unpaid item in your shopping cart, go back and pay for it! When I checked out of the hotel in Tahiti, I noticed that the hotel did not charge me for the delicious dinner I had, so I immediately requested the hotel to make the adjustment. Since I am the kind of person who would pay for a movie, go out of the theater and then pay for another movie, this did not present a challenge.

What is challenging to me is showing service professionals respect by not being glued to technology.  Thus, my phone is in my purse when I am in line ordering food. Incidentally, I spoke with a taxi driver today who thought that people in New York are rude because they do not say hello and are always on their phone, which reminds me – time to sign off and spend quality time with my nephew!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

Expand your mind:

You are Naturally Beautiful

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(Moisturizing Lotion – Clinique, Clarifying Lotion – Clinique, Anti-blemish Solution – Clinique, Eye Makeup Remover – Lancome, Baby Oil – Johnson & Johnson, Foam Cleanser – Clinique, Exfoliator – Lancome, Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask – Clinique, Sunblock – Neutrogena, Lip Balm – Clinique, Eye Cream – Lancome, Night Cream – Lancome)

Part of being beautiful is taking care of yourself, of your skin.

Outer Beauty

Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of the most important steps in taking care of your skin because sun exposure can cause dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock (with at least a SPF of 30) because it is non sticky and feels good on my face.

Because the skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, I use an eye cream every day. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C boost collagen production and ingredients such as calendula reduce puffiness. I apply the Lancome eye cream for these very purposes!

In addition, I moisturize my face every morning with the Clinique moisturizing lotion so it is soft, smooth and shiny. If I have a break out, I use the Clinique Emergency Mask. I personally love this product, because all of my pimples disappear and my face is shiny again!

Because I have very dry skin, I could not live without Johnson & Johnson‘s baby oil. To moisturize and soften my skin, I use a dab of the baby oil immediately after a warm shower.  It helps to contain the moisture and soften dry skin.

Inner Beauty

Everyone is naturally beautiful. Society defines beauty as what we see in magazines. They are tall and thin and light-skinned. They wear expensive clothing that they may not own themselves. They have a team of service professionals whom apply their makeup, style and put on their outfits, photograph and market their beauty. Most of us are out there living our lives. Our faces are not printed in magazines but our faces, our bodies are still beautiful.

I have photographed models and non-models alike. I believe that make up could transform our outer beauty. I believe we could emphasize our best features and find our best angle. However, I find that the most beautiful people are those whose inner beauty shine. They are comfortable with themselves. They are who they are in their own skin. They have a confident attitude of – “This is who I am – Take it or leave it.”

Be yourself and embrace your uniqueness.

1. Do not compare yourself with others. All of my life, I am lucky that I am not jealous or envious. I learned as a child that someone somewhere could be smarter, prettier, wealthier or  more talented than you, and most importantly, that I am different. Therefore, I have learned to focus on what I want and what I need to do in order to create the future that I want. I have learned to be happy for others and learn from their success. Thus, acknowledge that you are different and unique. Define your life. It is yours to live.

2. Think independently.  As an independent thinker, I have the power of choice – what I would like to purchase, what I want to learn, whom I want to love, where I would like to travel, how I would like to make money. And this power of choice comes from knowing who you are and what you like. We are influenced every day by perceptions, perspectives, bias and values of other people. Thus, it is vital to discover and know your own values and live your life accordingly. Question and form your own opinions. Consider the perceptions of others but do not let others place a limitation on you or tell you what you should be. You choose what you want. You start and do the work. Don’t leave your life up to others.

3. Protect your dignity. Dignity is you as a whole. It is what you do, who you are. Do things that make you feel proud. Understand your personal boundaries and limits, and do not lower your standards to anyone.  Protect your self-esteem, and provide yourself with positive affirmations.  Separate facts from interpretations and do not jump to conclusions about what others think of you.  Respect and stand up for yourself and others. Although it is difficult, remain calm and practice empathy when you encounter a conflict. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, and be grateful for what you do have.  Love yourself and others, and thrive to be whole and happy.

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.